Patricia Malone, Author . Delacorte $15.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-385-72915-4

This quick-moving feminist adventure from first-time novelist Malone will captivate fans of Arthurian lore. Set in A.D. 500, in what is now Scotland, the story follows 15-year-old Ilena as she searches for the truth about her family after the death of her father: "I've always known that we belonged somewhere else, that we had come, for reasons I was never told, from a home-place near the eastern sea." Ilena's quest soon leads her to meet a man "pledged to Arthur's table" as well as to her destiny in the land of Dun Alyn: she is heir to a throne. The current ruler's evil henchman wants the throne for his granddaughter and tries to have Ilena killed. Ilena perseveres with the help of a mysterious healer and a smart-talking dwarf, and she finds true love. Despite the expected finish, the suspenseful first-person narration keeps the pages turning. Malone creates an ominous mood and vigorous fight scenes; the heroine's conduct proves continually resourceful. Trained by her father in military arts, Ilena makes a courageous soldier, but remains an innocent in the ways of the world. The juxtaposition makes her a magnetic character; readers will warm to her hardy spirit and rejoice in the happy ending. Ages 12-up. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 01/07/2002
Release date: 02/01/2002
Mass Market Paperbound - 232 pages - 978-0-440-22909-4
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-0-307-56593-8
Prebound-Other - 232 pages - 978-0-613-72280-3
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